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Earlier this week, Variety ran a shocking exposé about the wildly popular Netflix dating show Love Is Blind.
The piece detailed allegations made by Renee Poche, a Texas veterinarian who made brief appearances on Love Is Blind Season 5.
What viewers might not realize is that during her time on the show, Poche progressed beyond “the pods” and entered into an engagement with a fellow contestant named Carter Wall.
However, Wall and Poches’ relationship was edited out of the season and is now the subject of a messy legal battle that’s calling attention to ethical issues within the reality TV industry.
According to legal documents filed by Poche, her nightmare began when production staff seized her phone, passport, and driver’s license and proceeded to lock her in a hotel room.
Poche alleges that her safety was further compromised when she was pressured into an abusive relationship with Wall, who made his way through the show’s vetting process despite being unemployed, unhoused, and addicted to multiple substances.
Poche’s story might be more horrifying than most, but sadly, her situation is not unique among the participants of reality television shows.
In fact, she’s not even the first Love Is Blind star to take producers to court.
As we previously reported, Season 5 contestant Tran Dang has filed a lawsuit against production companies Kinetic Content and Delirium TV, alleging she was sexually assaulted by her former fiancé, Thomas Smith, during filming.
Like Poche, Dang got engaged on set, but her relationship was edited out of the show.
The situation has drawn comparisons to earlier reality TV scandals, including Josh Duggar’s arrest on child pornography charges.
In that case, too, producers were accused of turning a blind eye to signs of malfeasance and creating an environment that enabled predators to thrive.
In the years since reality TV became one of the dominant forces in American culture, small production companies like Delirium have gained a tremendous amount of clout.
And many critics feel that this rapid rise has led to a culture of abuse and corruption.
In the era of the Kardashians, the idea of becoming “famous for being famous” is so widely embraced that “influencer” has become one of the most popular career ambitions among teens and young adults.
It’s a situation that’s given reality producers roughly the same level of power as top-tier casting directors for feature films.
These kingmakers are now able to exploit young wannabe stars without paying them a dime, and as stories like Poche’s and Dang’s remind us, that sort situation is almost certain to create major problems.
Many believe that allegations made by Poche and Dang are just the tip of the iceberg and that further corruption will soon be exposed.
If that’s the case, then the industry could be headed for the sort of reckoning that we haven’t seen since the #MeToo era.
We’ll have further updates on this developing situation as new information becomes available.
Renee Poche: Love Is Blind Star Alleges Abuse on Set, Raises Concerns About Ethics Within … was originally published on The Hollywood Gossip.
Written by: 98bpm Radio
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